Chapter Nine, Part TwoMature

Gooseflesh crumpled me up in a little ball when it was over; I lay there shivering, wondering absently if this was how ice cream felt after they put the ice in. 

“Try to stand up,” the Pudding said from no particular location. “You’ll find you won’t miss your old... self. Once we find Mab, my contract with you is done, and I retract my power. Do you understand, Knight of Winter?” 

“What do I look like, Cinderella?” I breathed, riveted as my exhalation turned to ice, the spent breaths curving into white butter curls like the flames from the mouths of carvings of Kukulcan I remembered from the pyramid in Chichen Itza.  

I stared at empty air for a moment, trying to construct a logic chain that actually got me somewhere before I got up and ambled to the bathroom mirror.  

So we were going into Faerie to find Mab. Fair enough. I didn’t have the Mantle, for some reason. That would be a problem. But I had the Pudding’s gift of power to counter that, at least for the duration of the mission. But where would we come in at? Faerie wasn’t exactly the kind of place you brought your friends to for a good glass of port and a cheese tasting. In the Never Never, the cheese eats You, the wine is blood, and the art jumps out at everyone. With teeth and claws. And ample... tracts of land. 

Before I realized it, I had gotten to my feet and was standing in front of the motel room’s bathroom mirror.

The End

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